Hen and stags: A night to remember

Forget boozy blowouts, strippers and L-plates. A host of classier choices mean your hen or stag do doesn’t have to be an evening you’d rather forget, says Alice-Azania Jarvis

We’ll probably never know whether or not Kate Moss and friends really worked their way through 120 bottles of rum on day one of her hen weekend. Still, photos of the party in action confirm one thing – this was an event of bacchanalian proportions. Pink hummer limos, gold buggies and no shortage of refreshments.

For once, though, the supermodel might be behind the curve. Whether it’s a sign of the times or a straightforward case of L-plate fatigue, the boozy, misbehaving hen party of recent years is looking increasingly démodé. Ditto the stag. “The age of the average bride is higher than it used to be,” says Miranda Eason, editor of You and Your Wedding and Cosmopolitan Brides. “Couples have done the boozy nights out. These days it’s more about making memories.”



HENS

Learn something useful

To celebrate her final days of freedom, Lily Allen was given a private cooking lesson by Gordon Ramsay. Joined by a small group of friends, she was then treated to a meal at the chef’s Savoy Grill restaurant. “That’s exactly the sort of thing we’re seeing more of,” says Eason. “It’s a shared experience; something the girls will remember for a long time.” It’s not just high-end cooking lessons that the modern hen is enjoying. At the Shu Uemura boutique in London’s Covent Garden, groups can receive lessons in applying make-up from the store’s immaculatelyqualified staff. “It’s something Mr Uemura started back in the Sixties,” explains senior artist Mei Rees. Prices range from £30 to £60 – though the full amount is then redeemable against any products which they buy. Shuuemura.co.uk

Arts & crafts

“When it comes to throwing a hen party, you need to remember that not everyone necessarily knows each other,” says Jennifer Pirtle, founder of the Make Lounge. “Craft offers the guests an opportunity to get to know each other without that first encounter being an alcohol-fuelled meeting in a nightclub.” The Make Lounge has been catering to hen parties since 2007, offering afternoon sessions where guests can learn to make anything from fascinators to jewellery. Classes last between twoand- a-half and four hours and get booked up long in advance. Particularly popular is the so-called “Fancy Pants” knicker-customising session. “It’s a real way of bonding the group and at the end of the day they get to take something home.” Themakelounge.com



STAGS

Dine finely

Amongst hens, enjoying a foodie treat – be it a retro tea party or a slap-up meal – has been a trend for some time. It seems the boys are following suit. Recently, Kate Moss’s fiancé Jamie Hince toasted his impending nuptials with a meal at Shoreditch’s chi-chi Les Trois Garcons before heading to St Tropez for a bit of quiet in the sunshine – quite a contrast to his bride’s all-out affair. But Hince isn’t alone. Before marrying model Lara Stone, David Walliams exercised similar restraint, dining at Nobu before enjoying a few quite ones at the nearby Met Bar.



Song and dance

Karaoke has long been a staple at stag and hen dos across the country – though, increasingly, brides are opting for a sing-along with a difference. “We’ve seen a lot of Glee-inspired singing and dancing lessons recently,” says Eason. Other popular options are Grease- or Dirty Dancing-themed dance classes. “It’s about doing something more interesting than a night out.” For those with showbiz ambitions, recording studios are offering hens the chance to record their very own album. At Anita’s Music in Edinburgh, hen parties are given the option of recording their own covers album, complete with a track listing of their own design (Anitamusic.co.uk), while Newcastle’s Broadwater studio offers a dedicated Hen Party package for £250. Broadwaterstudios.com



Survival of the Fittest

“Canyoning is without doubt our most popular activity,” says Mark Soanes, a director at Call of the Wild, which offers adventure weekends for stags at the Brecon Beacons National Park. “It’s an adrenaline rush and the scenery is absolutely stunning.” The typical weekend chez Soanes involves two activities, plus accommodation and food. “We’re seeing more and more people looking for something better value than just sitting in a bar. They want something they can go and talk about when it comes to the wedding.” Naturally, hen parties are welcome at Call of the Wild, too – and if two days of sport sounds a bit much, there is the option of spending the second day being pampered. Callofthewild.co.uk



Wine down

“We’ve been offering wine tasting stag and hen parties for three years,” says Nicola Paradis, of Paris wine bar O Chateau. During summer, the bar’s dedicated workshops are in high demand amongst betrothed Brits who come for a two-hour session. “We take them through six French wines, including one champagne and discuss the type of grape, the region, show them how to read the label.” If desired, the bar can provide food, as well as the option of a champagne cruise. “People love it – it’s a halfway point between a bit of culture and being a bit drunk at the end of the day.” O-chateau.com

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Associate Recrutiment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

    Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

    £120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

    PMLD Teacher

    Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

    Day In a Page

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

    Time to stop running

    At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence